UFC FN 38: Dan Henderson Concedes a “Big Weight is Off me” After Thrilling Stoppage Win
By FCF Staff
For the first two rounds of last night’s UFC Fight Night headliner, it certainly didn’t appear as though Dan Henderson was going to end his three fight losing skid, as “Shogun” Rua stunned the decorated fighter badly more than once. In round three, however, the 43 year-old quickly put to rest any retirement talk by blasting Rua with his infamous “H-Bomb” and ending the fight. It was just the latest, thrilling stoppage victory to be added to Henderson’s extensive record.
“I feel like a big weight is off me,” Henderson conceded to FOX Sports 1 after the event. “I finally got rid of the bad year I had last year and look forward to having a good one this year.”
“I felt like I was aware of what was going on the whole time,” said Henderson, while discussing the bout’s opening frames. “He definitely rocked me and I was able to clench him a little on the ground and he didn’t connect anything on the ground.”
Rua never appeared to lose consciousness after Henderson floored him with a thumping right hook, but the former light-heavyweight champ was clearly, badly hurt. After the bout was stopped, and Rua emerged from the canvas, the damage Henderson’s right hand had inflicted to his face became evident.
“I don’t think I said anything,” said Henderson, when asked if he had relayed anything to referee Herb Dean before the latter stopped the bout. “I thought he was out. He was just kind of lying there and I didn’t want to keep beating on him. You know, I’m a fan of Shogun too.”
And where does the comeback win rank in Henderson’s 15 plus year career? Is it at the top? Considering he had lost three straight heading into it and appeared to be en route to a fourth consecutive loss?
“No, I wouldn’t say it’s the biggest” said Henderson. “But Kenny Florian said I was going to get knocked out and you had it backwards. Ken, don’t count the old man out.”
“Dan Henderson, we get it. You’re the toughest guy in the UFC. This was insanity,” the FOX Sports 1 commentator Florian noted after the fight. “Shogun got the fast start, like Henderson did in the first fight. Shogun was nullifying the right hand of Henderson early on and had the chance to finish him several times. But Henderson finished it in the third. I got the round right with my prediction, but I got the wrong person winning.”
Interestingly enough, the last person Henderson had defeated prior to UFC FN 38, was Rua, who he decisioned in November, 2011. That fight was also an instant classic and left the MMA world buzzing for some time.
“I don’t know about that,” Henderson told FOX Sport 1, when asked about the possibility of a third fight with Rua. “I didn’t think after the first one that we could do it any better. It couldn’t have been more exciting. This one was close to that one. Maybe we bring the best out of each other as far as excitement goes.”
Sunday’s UFC FN 38 card was hosted by the Ginasio Nelio Dias in Natal, Brazil.